Celebrity picks: Helen Hoang’s favorite recent reads

Adrian Liang on August 07, 2019

For many readers, Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient not only delivered a delightful share-with-your-best-friends novel but signaled that more ambitious and encompassing romance reads were finally here. A heroine with Asperger’s who made checklists so that she would learn how to do lovemaking correctly, a bighearted hero who evoked comparisons to hot K-drama stars (though he’s Vietnamese-American), and a modern cover that sucked in a wide readership were among the many, many reasons the Amazon Books editors named The Kiss Quotient as the best romance of 2018.

In 2019, Hoang continues the stories of the extended Pham and Diep family with The Bride Test. Michael Pham’s cousin, Khai, believes he has no feelings and is destined to disappoint any woman who falls for him, so he avoids women—and people other than family—as much as possible. But his mom thinks she knows better, and after one of her trips to Vietnam, she brings home to California with her Esme Tran, a potential bride (and secret mother of a 5-year-old). Rather, I should say, she brings Esme to Khai's home, and Khai’s mother gives both Esme and Khai a summer to figure out if they’re compatible. Khai is determined to outlast his mother’s matchmaking scheme, but Esme has a way of getting under his skin in both bad ways…and good.

We asked Helen Hoang what books she’s been reading and loving lately, and here are her recommendations.


Helen Hoang’s favorite recent reads

^^ASIN##B074FYPLZD^^HEADLINE##A romance with humor and heart^^SUMMARY##“Good news: If you love this, there’s a book for each Winston sibling.” —Helen Hoang^^AWARD##Hoang’s pick^^RATING##^^RANK##^^BEST##^^WORST##^^

“Penny is one of my newest favorite authors. She writes with such humor, heart, and depth. In Beard in Mind, she lets us into the mind of Shelly Sullivan, who is a mechanic, interprets things literally, owns a cussing parrot, and happens to have obsessive compulsive disorder. I loved watching her fall for Beau Winston, her perfect match. Oh, and good news: If you love this, there’s a book for each Winston sibling in her Winston Brothers series.”

^^ASIN##B07BLZ7S7T^^HEADLINE##Courage on and off the court^^SUMMARY##“This is a gritty, intense, emotional roller coaster of a book.” —Helen Hoang ^^AWARD##Hoang’s pick^^RATING##^^RANK##^^BEST##^^WORST##^^

“This is a gritty, intense, emotional roller coaster of a book. It deals with domestic abuse, and Kennedy did not hold back when describing those aspects. It’s a testament to her talent as a writer that I couldn’t stop reading this. It’s important, but at the same time, it’s a beautiful romance that leaves you feeling warm, empowered, and optimistic.”

^^ASIN##B07C7N5CBS^^HEADLINE##A forbidden love^^SUMMARY##“Surprisingly sweet and downright intoxicating.” —Helen Hoang ^^AWARD##Hoang’s pick^^RATING##^^RANK##^^BEST##^^WORST##^^

“This book is just delicious. The forbidden romance between Jordan and her boyfriend’s dad, Pike, was surprisingly sweet and downright intoxicating. I read this book in an infatuated fever. This one is perfect for the beach or, if you dislike sand like I do, the pool.”


Need more recommendations? See the Amazon Books editors’ picks in fiction, mystery, memoirs, history, science fiction, romance, cookbooks, and many other categories.

Readers searching for their next favorite read can sign up for our daily Amazon Book Review newsletter featuring best books of the month, author interviews, the reading life, and more.

The Amazon Books editors read independently and widely with one goal in mind: helping readers find their next favorite book.

Lists + Reviews

Best Books Literature + Fiction Nonfiction Kids + Young Adult Mystery, Thriller + Suspense Science Fiction + Fantasy Comics + Graphic Novels Romance Eating + Drinking


Interviews Guest Essays Celebrity Picks

News + Features

News Features Awards Podcast


Omnivoracious, The Amazon Book Review

Feeds Facebook Twitter YouTube